Road project in The Woodlands has residents concerned

October 30, 2011 3:58:13 PM PDT
Some residents in The Woodlands believe a road project may make walking to and from school more dangerous for their children, and they are hoping something can before done before the project is finished.

The Woodlands' natural beauty is what drew JoDell Whitehead to move there four years ago.

"You just sort of fall in love with it," Whitehead said of her town. "One day, I'm riding around and I'm looking at the trees and I'm looking at the birds, and I thought, 'Thank you, God. This is fabulous.'"

But the town's raw terrain is transforming. More traffic is leading to more construction, and some residents say one of the latest projects is an accident waiting to happen.

Ken Lake Dr. will soon connect F.M. 2978 to Terramont Dr. in the back of The Woodlands. For Whitehead, it'll mean living in a cut-through neighborhood.

"That's not why we came out here," she said. "Logistically, [the plan for the road] wasn't thought out very well."

For parents like James Noack, it will mean putting his five- and 10-year-old children in the path of more cars on their way to and from school.

"Most important for us is that they get to school and return home safely," Noack said. "This is a very busy road as it is."

Ken Lake Dr. cuts right through the campuses of two elementary schools, a sixth grade campus, a school bus barn and a new day care facility -- all of which operate around the same time.

"You're going to have one stop sign for that many students coming around," Whitehead said.

And, since Conroe ISD stopped busing children who live within a one-mile radius of school, Noack says a lot more kids walk or ride their bikes.

"This is going to add to the congestion and it's also going to force our children to cross another driveway, and could impair their safety," he said.

There is talk of turning Ken Lake Dr. into a school zone or not allowing trucks to pass through, but Whitehead says even that may not be enough.

"There could've been a better spot. I mean, you just don't do it by a school," she said.

It is possible Ken Lake Dr. will stay closed to traffic until after the new daycare opens next fall.

Our calls to members of The Woodlands Development Company were not returned Sunday.

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